Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Congratulations to the Winner of the LifeStraw GO Water Bottle!

LifeStraw GO Water Bottle with Built-in Filter on the Snake River #HellHikeAndRaft

Woo hoo! 

Big congratulations to Eryn S. from Racine, Wisconsin. 

She's so psyched to win the LifeStraw GO Water Bottle and plans on bringing it with her on her next trip to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. 

Eryn and her family can literally just dip it into the water as they paddle along in the wilderness in their canoes to have access to fresh, safe drinking water.

A huge thank you to LifeStraw for partnering with Outdoorsy Mama in this giveaway and for their humanitarian efforts to bring clean water to school children in undeveloped countries. 

Remember, every LifeStraw purchase we make provides safe drinking water for these kids. It's a win-win. 

Cheers & we're grateful during this holiday season. 

-Outdoorsy Mama

For more information:
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
LifeStraw
LifeStraw Review

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gear Review & GIVEAWAY: Lifestraw Go Portable Water Bottle – Built-In Filter for Safe, Easy Water. Xmas Gift Gear.

 
Using the Lifestraw Go Portable Water Bottle on the Snake River in Idaho.

LIFESTRAW GO PORTABLE WATER BOTTLE, .65 LITERS, $34.95 RETAIL

Hot off of the production lines. Guys, this is BRAND NEW. This new water bottle incorporates the technology of Lifestraw’s personal water filter, but now in a to-go water bottle.

We were lucky enough to take these bottles for a test drive on our #HellHikeAndRaft trip, backpacking through the Seven Devils of Idaho and whitewater rafting down the Snake River. I brought it home and continue to put it through its paces, constantly throwing it into my backpack for Bay Area, California exploration. 

How it Works:
Fill: Literally fill the bottle with any sort of water from lake, stream, pond – even mucky water. Screw on the top that has the filter attached.
Drink: Tip & suck on mouthpiece. Water flows from the bottle, through the filter, purified now, into your thirsty mouth.
Clean: After each drinking session, unscrew lid and BLOW through the mouthpiece to expel dirty water.

flip-top bite valve
water filter









dip, fill, close, drink








Specifications You Want to Know:
Weight: 5.9 oz. Length: 9.25” Holds: .65 liters liquid
Filters up to 1,000 liters of water to .2 microns.
Advanced hollow fiber membrane technology.
Removes 99.9999% waterborne bacteria – E. Coli, Salmonella.
Removes 99.9% waterborne protozoa – Giardia, Cryptosporidium.
BPA free.
Flip-top bite valve. Carabineer included.
No electricity or batteries needed for purification.

Lifestraw Gos attached to Teton Sports Backpacks in the Seven Devils Wilderness, Idaho
Pros:
-No hassle. We were surprised at how convenient it was to have the filter built into the water bottle. We literally dipped the bottle into any body of water at all moments of our trip and were rewarded with fresh, easy, SAFE water.
-No strange aftertaste. Finally, I can dip this bottle into a mountain stream and drink refreshing, ice-cold, high country water like the old days of drinking straight from the stream. All I taste is crisp, delicious, nature-made water. Not weirdly treated liquid.
-Now portable. Lifestraw technology is now in a water bottle which I can easily drink from and bring with me anywhere. Yes.

Cons:
-This is not 100% water tight. I took it on a trail run and the stress of the jerking around did end up with a small amount of water coming out of the sealed mouthpiece. Though I do realize that this is not what this bottle was intended for.
-I rather easily mangled the carabineer trying to attach the bottle to a line on the paddle boat on the Snake River. One carabineer down…
-Doesn’t carry a ton of water.


I really do bring the Lifestraw Go with me for very expedition, just in case. Looking towards the Marin Headlands, California.

Final Feedback:
This technology was originally designed as an emergency response tool for natural disasters. How smart to now bring it to the adventure market so we can have safe, reliable, easy access to potable water, too.

I’m a fan. Of this Lifestraw Go and of the company in general. Every single Lifestraw product we buy is matched with Lifestraw providing ONE FULL SCHOOL YEAR of safe drinking water for a school child in a developing country.

Wow.

That’s a water bottle worth owning. Feel good, taste good, hydrate safely.

Cost and Where Can We Find It?
@ $30 (sale price) - $35 at many outdoor retailers.
- REI

Cheers! -Outdoorsy Mama

ENTER HERE TO WIN A "LIFESTRAW GO" WATER BOTTLE - Enter using easy Rafflecopter form below 



a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: Lifestraw by Vestergaard was a sponsor of HellHikeAndRaft2014 and provided product for gear testing and giveaway. All opinions are my own and reviews are at my own discretion. Teton Sports was also a sponsor and provided gear for testing.

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and sorry can't ship to PO Boxes. Giveaway starts on November 19 12am EST and ends November 26 12am EST. The winner of one Lifestraw Go will be announced a few days later. Good luck!


For more information and related reviews:


Monday, November 17, 2014

Bay Area Hikes: "The Mushroom Loop" Featuring the Mickey O’Brien Trail. 4.6 miles. Mt Tamalpais State Park (Marin Water District)

High Sierra Trail. Mt Tam State Park & Marin Water District. California
Hike: Laurel Dell Fire Road area loop, Mt Tam State Park & Marin Water District near San Francisco, California
Length: @ 4.6 mile loop
Location: Mt Tam State Park - Marin Water District - Marin County, California
Difficulty: Steeper entrance/exit. Rolling hike.
Exposure: Shade and sun
Dogs: Welcome in the on Water District side on a leash

After my weekly morning coffee with the Twitter #Hikerchat crew discussing foraging for plants, mushrooms, berries in the woods, we head up to Mt Tamalpais State Park - the water district side - to explore the north side of the ridge along West Ridgecrest Blvd.

THIS is the place where they shoot all the gorgeous car commercials – literally on top of the rolling-hills world. Breathtaking.

Now back to the hike.

Jumping out of the car with our dogs and not a hiking plan other than “let’s see where we end up” - down the ridge we funnel towards Laurel Dell Fire Road.


The lush Cataract Trail. Mt Tam State Park & Marin Water District. California

We’ve had some rare, desperately needed rain over the last few weeks – just a day here and there – but you can see that the California plants have gone nuts over it. Lush and green in shady spots, we literally feel as if we are in a rainforest.

As we head further north along Laurel Dell/Cataract Trail, we loop out into the grassy fields staying high on High Marsh Trail instead of dipping down into Cataract Falls, and loop back west then south on Kent Trail. Cue the huge surprise. We next stumble upon the Mickey O’Brien Trail. This is where Alice in Wonderland starts….

Mushrooms of every color and variety. Tiny, village-like, coral clusters. Giant, massive toadstools. Slimy, creepy looking ones. Puffy, white, spiky ones. Even squeezable mushrooms that toot out spores like a smokestack when you squeeze them.





Poisonous or edible? We didn’t have a guide.

So we ooh and ahhh each at every ‘shroom cluster and our hiking speed slows down to a stop, walk, stop, look, peer, poke. As if we’ve gone back to being toddlers. One mile an hour….

And who knew, the world’s most gross yet beautiful creature, the brilliant, stomach-churning Banana Slug, loves to eat mushrooms. We witness a multitude of them devouring – in slow motion – big old toadstools.

Go NOW. While the ground is wet. Bring your camera and your sense of awe at the littlest of things. Enjoy!

- Outdoorsy Mama



Laurel Dell to Cataract Trail to High Marsh Trail (stay right) to Kent Trail to Lauren Dell Fire Road (again) to Mickey O’Brien Trail back to Laurel Dell.

For more info and related hikes:


Thursday, November 6, 2014

GEAR REVIEW: Pressurized Hydration Pack for Hiking & Backpacking by Geigerrig #HellHikeAndRaft - Xmas Gift Gear

Geigerrig Hydration Pack at our campsite the first night on Shelf Lake, Seven Devil's Wilderness.

Are you ready? ‘Cause this month is going to be all about GEAR.

Because Christmas is around the corner and lord knows we all need help figuring out what to get our Outdoorsy husbands, friends, kids and relatives….. fasten your seatbelts!

GEGERRIG HYDRATION ENGINE – PRESSURIZED HYDRATION PACK, 2 LITER, 1st GENERATION

Those are a lot of fancy words that sound so cool for saying --- there’s bladder of water that you put in your backpack and then pump up to your mouth through a tube.

We were lucky enough to have these hydration bladders to test out for our Hell Hike And Raft trip to Idaho. Instead of bringing water bottles and a separate water filter to then pump into my water bottles, I grabbed this bladder – bought the filter that attaches into the system – and actually found it a simple, convenient system once I got used to how it works.

How it Works:
Helpful, albeit long, video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXVmyF0Vgnk
Basic info is:
- attach the filter to the bladder line and the bite line
- fill the bladder with water
- pump up the bladder with the bulb on one tube
- bite on the other tube for the flow of the water


filter
bulb














bite valve
valve from bladder










Specifications You Want to Know:
Weight - .55 lbs
Length - 12”
Width -  7”
BPA Free, Pthalate Free
Dishwasher safe
Wide mouth
Slide top
Quick release valves
Filter in the system (In Line Crypto Filter)

Pros:
- I literally was able to scoop water from the lake and river into the pack and drink directly through the tube because of the built in water filter instead of having to pre-filter the water.
- Wide mouth opening to the bladder makes for easy, quick pouring of water into bladder. If you’ve dealt with smaller openings in bladders before, you’ll see this makes a nice difference.
- The system allows me to pump the water so it has pressure to flow into my mouth, rather than having to suck hard to get water. I didn’t have to work for my water.


Cons:
- Felt a little like an octopus with tubes flying everywhere. Photos of me back that up.
- When you pressurize the bladder, it gets fuller in your pack, and takes up more space.
- I over pressurized the bladder one time with the pump and the pump flew off of the tube like a NASA rocket launch, almost taking out my hiking buddy’s eye behind me.
- Got the line kinked inside my backpack, so careful placement is key. This apparently is a 1st Generation problem and they have fixed it by changing the direction of the bladder valve in the 2nd Generation.
- I had to buy the filter separately. Would like it better if it came with a filter. So many parts!

Final Feedback:
I was uncertain heading out into the Hell’s Canyon Wilderness in Idaho if this contraption was going to keep me easily hydrated for the trip versus a simple water bottle. But, I grew to really like it once I got used to it’s quirks and parts.

Have been using it back home in the Golden Gate National Recreation area trails for bigger hikes and continue to find it useful and convenient with it’s built in water filter.

Would definitely recommend for bigger hikes as a trustworthy, easy once you get used to it, water source for backpacking and hiking.

Cost and Where Can you Find it?
@ $40-$48
the filter: Sport Chalet

-OutdoorsyMama

Disclaimer: Geigerrig is a sponsor of Hell Hike And Raft and provided us the hydration engines for testing. All opinions are my own and reviews are at my own discretion. 

Read the #HHAR Trail Story here: